Nobody’s going to read this, but I’m going to write it anyway. It’s my something. As in “I must do something”. I started writing a list of reasons why that guy might not like me. (you know, the orange one. Over the pond.)
- I am an immigrant.
- I am a woman.
- I am not, and will not for the foreseeable future, be working. (Call me a scrounger if you must.)
- I am a scientist.
- I am a writer. An outspoken one at that.
- I am a Christian who believes that Muslims have the right to practice their faith as much as I have the right to practice mine.
- I believe that LGBTQ people have as much of a right to harmonious, loving relationships as I do.
- I’m not here for the ratings.
Because there are a million different reasons for me to be afraid. And that’s without being in America with that guy. Because the same fear and fascism that got him elected is alive and well and residing in the UK. I saw it last week. I wasn’t happy. But it’s different here, you might say.
I tell you, it’s not that different here. We just hide it better. Our culture is naturally less brash, so the hatred, the fear is less obvious. But it’s there.
I’m not saying it’s wrong to be afraid. I’m not saying it’s wrong to be angry. But can we use our fear in the right way? Can we direct our rage in the right places? Can we fight against injustice instead of promoting it? Can we show a new kind of love and mercy? A 21st century robust, practical, workable mercy that extends to everyone and not just to our privilege.
Because the people we should be angry with – the greedy ones at the top of the food chain who should be promoting justice and aren’t – want us to see only that there are those lower down on the food chain and they might be getting what is “ours”. What is ours has already been stolen from us, or maybe we sold it for the sake of a few magic beans of empty promises.
Yes I am preaching into the echo chamber, but I am hoping that my words will galvanise you into action. Not just a tweet, or a share or a meaningful discussion with your friends about this blog you saw once. But meaningful action.
You have skills. You have connections. Use them. Write letters to your MP. Volunteer in your community. Actively seek out people that are different to you and build relationship with them. Develop a plan of how you are going to stand up for somebody who is being bullied or abused in the street. Clear a cupboard in your house and fill it with stuff for people in need – clothes, tinned goods. And then find a charity where you can give it. Donate money to groups that are actively addressing these issues. Stop and think for a moment and find your way to do something.
Yes, I have a million reasons to be afraid. But I would rather be afraid and doing something than not. I would rather, when they come for me, have been sharing God’s love and mercy and grace, than just been being different. I would rather they had a reason to come after me and my little life. I would rather that my fear be a starting point to do something that would make them afraid.
Because nothing beats love. Nothing beats mercy. Nothing beats grace. Now go out there and do something with it!